Deutsche Bank AG said an internal investigation into its senior management’s role in the interest-rate rigging Libor scandal is still going on.
The review is examining the actions of past and present members of the management board, spokeswoman Regina Schueller said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News today. Three external law firms are involved in the review.
Deutsche Bank was among six firms fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.32 billion) last month by the European Union amid a global investigation into whether banks colluded to rig benchmark interest rates such as the London interbank offered rate. Financial regulator Bafin wrote Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner a letter criticizing his handling of the senior management review in August, German magazine Der Spiegel reported today.
Deutsche Bank’s own “senior management review was designed to find facts, not to clear or exculpate anyone,” Schueller said in the statement. “It was a voluntary review, initiated by the bank.”
Bafin questioned whether Achleitner was correct to put Deutsche Bank General Counsel Richard Walker in charge of significant portions of the review, given his position as a member of management one step beneath the board in the group executive committee, Spiegel reported.
Schueller declined to comment on Bafin’s August letter to Achleitner.
Walker “would not have been a subject of the senior management review’s focus,” the spokeswoman said.
Deutsche Bank is reviewing whether to punish senior employees for their roles in the rate-rigging scandal, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week. The supervisory board will discuss punishments early in the week of Jan. 27, said the person, who asked not to be named because the meeting isn’t public. These may include firing or disciplining Alan Cloete, who oversaw traders alleged to have sought to rig rates, and employees responsible for the bank’s handling of the scandal, the person said.
“As per the current status of investigations, we can say that no current or former member of the management board had any inappropriate involvement in the interbank offered rates matters under review,” Schueller said in today’s statement.